Being just a short flight from New Zealand, Queensland has long been a mecca for New Zealanders looking for sun, sea and fun. In fact more Kiwis holiday each year in Queensland that in any other part of the world!
The Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays and Tropical North Queensland all have their own special attractions and reasons for travel, be it theme parks, shopping and cultural experiences, food and wine and of course the endless kilometers of beautiful beaches.
It is the same for those wanting to experience diving in Queensland.
For some of the most spectacular coral diving in the world, you can’t beat the outer reefs, islands and surrounding waters of Tropical North Queensland, the Whitsundays and Bundaberg and Southern Great Barrier Reef. These waters are a riot of extravagantly coloured reef fish and coral gardens.
Shipwrecks off the coast of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Townsville offer a real treat for more experienced divers looking for adventure!
As you dive beneath the calm, clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef you instantly feel your worldly worries melt away. Whatever your pace or experience, Queensland has the right underwater adventure for you!
Dive the remote wilderness of the Coral Sea where great diving is easy and exciting, adventurous yet safe. This is one of the last opportunities to see coral reefs unchanged by man’s interference.
Wheelers Reef : A white sand cay in the Coral Sea is set in a lagoon which has become a haven for seabirds and turtles. Coral pinnacles rise from the depths, festooned with golden Gorgonia fans, a mere backdrop to a multitude of other marine life.
Osprey Reef : In the Coral Sea is one of the most spectacular dive sites in the world. At “North Horn” you will see Trevally, Tuna, schools of Barracuda and are most likely meet the resident White Tip Reef Sharks. During the exciting shark feed it is most possible to see Grey reef, Silvertip and Hammerhead sharks as well as Manta Rays.
Holmes Reef and Bougainville Reef: lie 240 kms from mainland Australia; one due east, the other north east from Cairns. Holmes Reef has three distinct reefs covering an area of 450 square kms. Diving this area is good all year round. Visibility reaches 100 metres plus and is rarely less than 50 metres. Very few of these reefs have ever been dived, being surrounded by depths of 1000 metres, rising vertically to the surface, offering magnificent wall and drift diving opportunities. Large pelagics, Gorgonia fans, sharks and several species of tropical fish common only to the Coral Sea make these reefs a truly unique dive location.
SS Yongala, Townsville
Hailed as one of the world’s largest and best intact shipwreck dive sites, the SS Yongala lies in 28 metres of water and offers a dive experience like no other. Divers travel from far and wide to explore the historical coral encrusted wreck and its underwater inhabitants including manta and eagle rays, bull sharks, turtles, barracudas and a number of large pelagics.
Get up close and personal with the locals – 100kg fish. This location is home to the massive Potato Cod – a fish not afraid to come close for an easy meal. At Cod Hole you will see more spectacular marine life in the course of one day than you would see on a whole trip elsewhere. If you’re visiting in the winter months, you may even see dwarf Minke Whales. Accessible via Liveaboards.
Located off Heron Island, this famous Queensland dive site won the praise of diving legend Jacques Cousteau who put it in his Top 10. Accessible by boat, the Heron Bommie ticks all the boxes that recreational divers crave. At a depth of 5-18 meters and visibility up to 25 meters, this dive site features forests of branching coral and is teeming with marine life including Woobergongs, reef sharks and its local resident “Fatty” the flowery Cod.
Other sites include: Whitsundays, Agincourt Reef, Lady Elliot Island, HNAS Brisbane, Wolf Rock, Heron Island dive sites: Gorgonia Hole, Tenements, Pams Point.
Ribbon Reefs dive sites include:
“Temple of Doom” which is a large pinnacle covered in beautiful coral growth and pulsates with reef and pelagic fish.
“Challenger Bay” has hard and soft corals and a stunning variety of nudibranchs, cuttlefish, flatworms, clams, angelfish, pipefish wrasses and it is not uncommon to spot a Manta Ray.
“Pixie Pinnacle” is a spectacular coral head that rises from 30m of water to almost break the surface. Experience spectacular fish life, including multitudes of Lionfish & Schooling Anthias.
“Steve’s Bommie” is a beautiful dive site, with a surprise waiting around every corner, another pinnacle reef that is absolutely teeming with fish life. There are so many schooling fish, of many varieties, that you can literally part them like curtains as you swim through.
Snorkel with Dwarf Minke Whales.
During the months of June – August, dwarf minke whales migrate through the Barrier Reef. They are friendly and not afraid of human contact, and will often approach the vessel and interact with guests by jumping, broaching or presenting their belly. Diving with whales is prohibited, but snorkelling from a Mermaid line will give you a unique opportunity to interact with these magnificent mammals.
Best time to Dive
The great news with diving in Queensland is that you can experience it all year round! Depending on the season you can dive with whales, sharks, turtles, manta rays, and just about every fish species in the sea!
Queensland is located on Australia’s North East.
Fly into Brisbane or the Gold Coast international airport and connect to your domestic location. We can we can arrange a taxi/shuttle/boat transfer to the resort.
Queensland offers world-class accommodation from budget to luxury and everything in-between. Experience Queensland’s beachfront, tropical garden and majestic ocean view settings or try the exceptional liveaboard accommodation. We can cater to all your requirements.
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